Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun

Elle Cosimano

Quick Synopsis

After Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they “borrowed” in the process of saving Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob got her out of debt. But now Finlay owes them and it’s time to collect.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Dating. Diapers. And dodging bullets. Who said single moms can’t have fun?

Finlay Donovan has been in messes before―after all, she’s an author and single mom who’s a pro at getting out bloodstains for rather unexpected reasons―but none quite like this. After she and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they may have “borrowed” in the process of saving the life of Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob got her out of debt. But now Finlay owes them

Still running the show from behind bars, mob boss Feliks has a task for Finlay: find a contract killer before the cops do. Problem is, the killer might be an officer.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has started up a citizen’s police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay’s looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with the tempting detective), Finlay and Vero have the perfect cover-up to sleuth out the real criminal and free themselves from the mob’s clutches―all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero’s past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

Book Review

Finlay Donovan is still a hot mess, and I am here for it.

After loving the first book in the Finlay Donovan series, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, I was a little disappointed in the second book. While the newest installment is better than the last, I think the first book is still the best of the bunch.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun is an over-the-top mystery novel featuring a modern-day Laverne and Shirley. After originally stumbling into becoming a contract killer, single mom and novelist Finlay Donovan is dealing with the fallout of getting some help from the Russian mob, which did not come free.

The opening scene kicks this book off with a bang. It is hilarious, absurd, and suspenseful. I was so excited to fully dive in after the first few pages.

I thought the plot of Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun was unique and a bit unexpected in some ways. Without a doubt, the plot is creative. But if you are unable to suspend belief and just have fun with it, this is likely not the series for you. Not every event or plot points is plausible, but the ridiculousness is part of the enjoyment.

After being a little let down by the second book, I was happy to see that Cosimano found the same tone as the initial book. That is, the humor returned to the page. While it could of course have been funnier, I was pleased to find a couple laugh out loud moments.

My biggest critique of this installment is that it lacked continued character development. While most the characters have been previously introduced to readers, I want Cosimano to keep building depth to them. As I read each book, I do not feel like I necessarily get to know them more and more. For example, I thought Finlay’s love plot line could have used for this purpose. Instead, it is unclear exactly what is holding Finlay back from jumping into a relationship with the hot cop. Similarly, I thought there was ample opportunity to dig more into Vero’s past and her motivations, but instead, we are left with loose ends in Vero’s storyline.

My only other issue was that there was a little villainizing of certain foods. Although this is common in society at large, please can books set an example?

Overall, I really enjoyed Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun. It was the light, playful book I needed. I plan to keep reading this series while I search for my own Vero. I highly recommend these books if you are looking for a silly, yet relatable mystery series. I have pushed these books on both my mom and sister, who now love them. We could not be more different, but we have bonded over these books.


Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun



Publication Date
January 31, 2023


Storygraph Rating
4.03 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.05 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from its publisher, Minotaur Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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